(Jefferson) is located just south of Stouffville Sideroad, in Richmond
Hill, near the site of the short-lived settlement of Windham founded by Comte
de Puisaye in 1798. A plaque was erected in front of the church in 1958 by the
York Pioneer and Historical Society to commemorate these settlers, fugitives
from the French Revolution who were granted 22 lots along Yonge Street in the
The original church was a clapboarded timber frame structure, constructed in the Classical Revival architectural style. It was built by John Turner on land donated by Captain Martin Donald MacLeod of the King's Own Regiment, a prominent member of the congregation. MacLeod also owned Drynoch Farm at the northwest corner of Yonge Street and the Jefferson Sideroad, where he resided.
Architecturally, St. John's Anglican Church is a simple interpretation of the Gothic Revival style. The building has a picturesque silhouette, with the main body accented by a small enclosed porch centred on the west elevation, a chancel. Each gable-roofed component is of a different height, stepping down in progression from the main part of the church. There is a small, gable-roofed belfry with Gothic-arched openings at the west end of the main roof.
The red brick cladding is decorated with voussoirs, a 5 course plinth, a raised belt course in the west gable, raised voussoirs around the rose window, and a Gothic-arched arcade on the west wall of the porch. Brick buttresses accent the north and south walls of the main part of the building.
Inside, on the east wall behind the altar, the reredos comprise a
series of four painted canvas panels containing
St. John's cemetery contains numerous marble and granite grave markers, many dating from the 19th century. Names of many of Jefferson's pioneer families are represented. Most of the markers are freestanding slab, block and obelisk styles, and a number exhibit elaborately carved decoration.
Burials were made in orderly rows and family plots on either side of a central lane that runs east to west. A number of early marble markers which originally stood upright are lying flat on the ground or in a gravel-filled wooden crib. Historically, it is known that the cemetery was enclosed by a fence. A picket fence was built along the Yonge Street frontage of the property in 1861.
To browse through the cemetery, click here.